Energy, Emissions, Effluents & Waste10 min
We aim to reduce our customers’ environmental impacts by designing material- and energy-efficient products.
Read about how our Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Tool helps us provide greater transparency for our productsRead story
Why it matters
In terms of primary energy consumption, the building sector is one of the largest energy users in the world – as a result, its influence on climate change is enormous. As a leading manufacturer, we are committed to incorporating the latest product life cycle approaches and environmental technologies to continuously advance our product development and improve our, as well as our customers’, sustainability performance. This not only provides new opportunities for our design and manufacturing processes; it addresses our customers’ expectations regarding environmentally friendly products.
We aim to reduce our customers’ environmental impacts by designing material- and energy-efficient products. We are dedicated to producing high-quality and reliable products and solutions, while also integrating our customers’ desire for environmentally friendly options. As a result, product design remains a core focus of our sustainability strategy, with an emphasis on energy consumption and carbon emissions during the product’s use phase, and waste management and recyclability at its end of life.
The trend toward sustainable design and ecodesign is here to stay. With an average life span of 40 to 50 years, buildings should ideally be constructed in a way that allows required materials and natural resources to be used efficiently. Green building certification schemes – such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or the German Sustainable Building Council (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen, DGNB) – rate the sustainability of an entire building. The green building market is forecast to experience a CAGR of more than 14.3% through 2027. By developing sustainable products and providing transparency on our sustainability performance, dormakaba secures our market position and offers added value to customers seeking green building certifications.
To reduce product-related energy consumption, emissions, effluents and waste, dormakaba focuses on three areas:
- Product design with a life cycle approach
- Greater transparency with Life Cycle Assessments and Environmental Product Declarations
- Sustainability platforms for greater information sharing
Product design with a life cycle approach
Our sustainability commitment and life cycle approach are integrated into the company’s Product Design Manual, which is binding for all new dormakaba-branded products in the Access Solution segments. By integrating life cycle thinking in the Product Design Manual, dormakaba is taking the first steps in integrating environmental impacts into our decision-making, as well as in product and process development. This product development and design process requires Aesthetic Design Approvals, so-called ADECO, to ensure our design integrity. Each step in our design development stage requires close collaboration between our engineers and producers. Final approval for preproduction is granted by Operations, Product Development, Product Management, and Product Design. The manual’s product design requirements are binding for all new dormakaba-branded products and product ranges. The life cycle approach covers the complete value chain from resources, production, and distribution to use and waste/recycling:
Greater transparency with Life Cycle Assessments and Environmental Product Declarations
Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) provide a reliable calculation of the environmental performance of a product. This includes the systematic assessment of the environmental impacts arising during the extraction of raw materials through the production, distribution, and use phases which are quantified based on materials, energy consumption, transport routes, emissions, and the life span of the products.
dormakaba uses two LCA approaches: cradle-to-gate and cradle-to-grave. The first approach considers all production stage modules: raw material supply, transport, and manufacturing. The latter covers all life cycle modules, which means that in addition to the cradle-to-gate stages, cradle-to-cradle analyzes the building construction process, product use stage, and end of life, i.e., our upstream value chain. We mainly use cradle-to-gate “with options” so that we can select the relevant upstream life cycle module(s).
We quantify and disclose a product’s environmental impact through its entire life cycle in our Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which are based on the international standards ISO 14025, 14040, 14044 and the European Standard EN 15804. We have adopted them to ensure that our environmental information is transparent, reliable, and credible. Our goal was that by the end of the financial year 2020/21, products representing 30% of our total turnover would have EPDs and/or Health Product Declarations (HPDs). To achieve this and to better support product innovations based on life cycle assessments in the design phase, a semi-automated dormakaba LCA Tool was implemented in the financial year 2020/21. With this solution, we are able to speed up the EPD development process due to a more flexible, less cost- and time-consuming approach. The LCA Tool (for semi-automated EPD generation) is approved by the EPD program operator IBU. The advantage of an approved LCA Tool is a more efficient way to generate EPDs in larger numbers, due to the possibility of a short verification process once the system is third-party approved.
Sustainability platforms for greater information sharing
Product information from EPDs, HPDs, and Declare Labels can contribute to the Building Information Modelling (BIM) and specifications or help attain the highest levels of green building certification systems, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
dormakaba publishes the product information from such product declarations on internationally recognized sustainability platforms such as the DGNB Navigator or mindful MATERIALS. These databases provide transparent environmental and health information for users and ensure easy access to specific product data. By providing product information on such databases, we seek to lower market entry barriers in the green building industry, making our inclusion in related bidding processes possible.
The know-how we have acquired over the years enables us to set appropriate priorities in a constantly changing international market environment with ever new demands on sustainability issues. At the same time, this evolving marketplace remains our biggest challenge. We constantly exchange knowledge with our colleagues worldwide to remain abreast of customer demands and to raise awareness on the importance of achieving a comprehensive understanding of sustainability issues.
We have been publishing LCAs in the form of EPDs since 2011. The first EPD we offered to customers was for our main door closer TS 93. Since then, our EPD and HPD portfolio has steadily expanded to cover nearly 100 of our top-selling and tender-relevant products.
Our aim for the financial year 2020/21 was integrate the majority of our product clusters in the new dormakaba LCA Tool. In parallel, EPDs for another 13 products, which were already in the pipeline, have been developed outside of the LCA Tool.
Our life cycle assessments, EPDs and HPDs cover products representing 32% of revenue share (vs. 19% in the previous reportng period).
We have successfully set up the dormakaba LCA Tool for 6 product clusters in the financial year 2020/21. By using the LCA Tool, over 70 EPDs will be published based on the environmentally relevant data collected so far, pending third-party verification. This will nearly double our EPD offering versus the previous financial year, which is a great achievement, made possible by cross-segmental collaboration with many procurement, product management, and engineering teams across the globe.
In the financial year 2021/22, we will continue with our efforts to develop life cycle assessments and EPDs for new products using the dormakaba LCA Tool, including for our Safe Locks and Electronic Access & Data product clusters. The Key Systems business unit (Key & Wall Solutions segment) will evaluate new packaging solutions and the viability of an EPD for a key cutting machine, which would be an industry first.
Creating more transparency along the whole life cycle of our products
Under the leadership of the Product Development team AS DACH, we set up a semi-automated Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Tool, which helps us to better understand the environmental impact of our products during their whole life cycle and to develop a higher number of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Thus, it will open more possibilities for sustainable innovation.
The LCA Tool assesses the raw materials and processes in every phase of a product’s life cycle, provides a transparent overview about the environmental footprint of the product, and supports the development of EPDs.
EPDs are increasingly requested by stakeholders such as customers, architects, and designers, as they are important for assessing the sustainability of buildings. EPDs describe the environmental impact of a building product, based on life cycle assessments and provide information about their functional and technical characteristics. So far, we have developed nearly 50 EPDs and we have submitted LCA data to the third-party provider for verification to develop over 70 more with the new tool, covering a broad range of product clusters (Electronic Access & Data, Door Hardware, Mechanical Key Systems, Entrance Systems, Interior Glass Systems, and Safe Locks).
"The LCA Tool makes the EPD development process faster, more flexible, and cost-effective, but most importantly it allows us to build an in-house competence center for life cycle assessment. This increased efficiency will help us provide greater transparency for more products that will in turn support our customers in achieving green building certifications.”
Melanie Schaumann, Manager Sustainable Projects, Product Development AS DACH
With the setup of the product cluster-specific LCA tools, we are more flexible in creating EPDs and are able to provide our customers with a wide range of EPDs for their projects. It also supports sustainable product development through a hot-spot analysis, which helps us identify possibilities for sustainability improvements on existing products or even at the start, during the product development phase.
“Our LCA Tool and the EPDs developed with it are credible and internationally accepted. The tool is verified by the Institut für Bau und Umwelt (IBU) and uses the GaBi database. All our EPDs are compliant with ISO 14025, ISO 14040/44, and EN 15804, which are the leading standards for environmental product labels worldwide.”
Lea Kullmann, Manager Sustainable Projects, Product Development AS DACH